Good evening to everyone in the UK and Happy Independence Day to all of our American readers, and welcome to another edition of I GOT TILL 5!
This week I will be taking a personal trip down memory lane and will talk about my top 5 experiences at a live wrestling show. The reason I’m doing this is because, quite honestly, I miss being at wrestling shows. When I meet wrestling fans who tell me they’ve never seen a live show it makes me sad, and I actively encourage them to do so. There is nothing quite like it. I’d love to hear your guys experiences too, so do leave them in the comments.
Thanks to 3ManBooth for the new featured image that I stole off them. An amazing blog that you guys should check out.
And now, we move onto the list…
Okay so, this was my first ever live show I went to, which took place Halloween of 2010 in Cheltenham. The poster looked cheap and was badly photoshopped with WWE crowds painted over the local wrestling talent and it could have been done by a 12 year old, but I was still excited as fuck to go. I grabbed one of my friends from Uni and begged him to go with me. He agreed since he had nothing better to do and he absolutely loved it.
I still say, to this day, that this was one of the better shows I’ve seen live.
The talent was amazing, and there wasn’t a bad match on the card. If you’re a fan of UK Indy Wrestling, you may be familiar with names such as Sha Samuels, Beautiful Bulldog and Zack Saber Jr. There were matches that made me laugh, and matches that made me feel like an 8 year old watching his first wrestling match on TV when this weird, vampiric like man rose up from hell and spat blood all over himself. My very first wrestling experience.
AND THEN IT ACTUALLY FUCKING HAPPENED.
Gangrels music hit and there he stood, goblet in hand with his eerie music blasting through the cheap speakers. I was starstruck and marked the everloving fuck out of myself. I had no idea Gangrel was here! I took a picture of him, the one shown above, and as quick as a flash, he ran up to me, got right in my face and said “You do that again you little punk and I’m going to rip your eye out!”. He then proceeded to shout at some little kids in the row infront of me.
And all of my happiness went away as I thought what a bastard.
And then I realised ‘Oh shit, he’s playing the heel. And now I’m angry at him. I’ve been worked.’
Gangrel was never the greatest wrestler around, but I always had a soft spot for him, as his entrance is what made me watch wrestling in the first place. It was unique and different and I loved Dracula as a kid, and this guy was basically Dracula (he wasn’t, but I was fucking 8) and he’s beating up other people and it’s WONDERFUL.
Gangrel winked at me after he lost his match, and then growled at a child who was sitting near me, laughed and shouted “That kid just shat his pants”. I never saw him again.
THE WORST WRESTLING EVENT EVER.
Wait what? I thought this was a list of your favourite moments from live events!
And it is. And this is one of them.
After telling my housemates (one of whom is a wrestling fan) about my previous experiences with the same company, two of them agreed to come with me for the next show, which happened to be an charity event so we felt like we’d get some good wrestling and we were helping others. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves.
And then the event began.
So the rules for every match went as follows.
There will be five 5 minute rounds (sounds like my fucking column) in which each competitor will have to score either a pinfall or submission. Cheating is not tolerated (as you will soon read about, my dears) in any form. In these five 5 minute rounds, the first wrestler to score 2/3 pinfalls will win the match. Excuse me? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have 3/5? Or just a single fucking fall to end one single wrestling match? Whoever’s idea it was to have this stupid fucking start/stop match for EVERY match on the card (there were 4 I think) should never book a wrestling show ever again.
The wrestling was dull. And by dull I mean the first match was fairly exciting, we saw a high cross body, we saw a nice rebound off the second turnbuckle into a schoolboy pin, we saw erm … well, thats about it really. In the second match we saw a high cross body, we saw a nice rebound off the second turnbuck-hang on. We just saw these finishes. Surely they won’t do it for the third match.
They ran a fucking knee injury angle on a fucking charity event.
You know what, it’s fine, it’s fine. The last match features two wrestlers who were on British Prime Time Wrestling, they’re practically legends in the British wrestling scene.
High crossbod- OH FUCK OFF.
It was literally a fucking joke. Every match was the fucking same. We paid £15 to watch the same fucking match four times. And the wrestlers themselves weren’t even exciting. “All that glitters is gold…IT’S RYAN GOLD!” His gimmick was he wore gold. That was it. There was nothing else. It wasn’t even a bad Goldust rip off, he just wore fucking gold trunks.
The referee was fucking abysmal. He had the slowest fucking count ever, but also the funniest. The way he would pronounce numbers was so drawn out and in such a weird Kermit the Frog-esque voice it was impossible not to laugh at. And then he really fucking annoyed me by counting a pinfall WHILST STANDING UP. I have never seen anything like it. It made me so angry, it was completely breaking everything I knew about wrestling tradition. It was just fucking stupid.
The worst part, however, was the fucking ring announcer.
He had a very gravelly voice and looked like he’d rather be anywhere else but in the town hall. Wouldn’t usually be a problem. Except he decided to do this weird commentary throughout every match, which was basically him asking the crowd WHAT DO WE THINK OF HIM THEN? usually regarding the heels. When said heels would do an eyepoke he would walk around the ring screaming into the microphone CHEAT. CHEAT. CHEAT. CHEAT. When they would exit the ring he would scream CHICKEN, CHICKEN, CHICKEN. He claimed that a face was “The cleanest wrestler in England” who would never break any rules. The first thing he did was kick the middle rope as his opponent was entering the ring. There were no comments from the ringside man. It was probably trying to distract everyone from the fucking awful wrestling that was going on, but it just made the experience miserable.
But in hindsight, it remains one of my favourite memories from University. The show was so bad it was good, and I’ve never gone back to another one of their 6 o’clock shows. We had a lot of laughs that day, and it was a joke shared between us three that still makes me laugh today. The worst wrestling show ever will always remain one of my favourites.
I’M ON TV!
THERE I AM! On the bottom left underneath the O in the UMO sign. And I was there for 2 weeks of television tapings!
An experience I will never forget, TNA Wrestling’s live shows have never failed to deliver for me. This is the closest I’ve ever sat to the ring in a “big league” show and it was incredible. I got a bunch of my friends around to my house, made a huge meal for them and we all sat and, basically, watched me watch wrestling for 2 hours. It was weird watching it on the TV after seeing it live, knowing what was going to happen and noticing all the little TV edits they did. They cut out our WE WANT DEVON chant at Bully Ray to which he shouted back FUCK YOU, I’M BETTER THAN DEVON! Hilarious. And there was a Bischoff/Bischoff promo that I didn’t hear any of, as the boos that rained down were the loudest I’ve ever heard. Change The Channel, Shut The Fuck Up, No One Cares, We Want Wrestling, Fire Bischoff/His Son Too, all of these amazing chants fell upon deaf ears. But to the people who were there live, they were our little moments of glory.
I also got to see HULK FUCKING HOGAN which was absolutely amazing. He came out about 5 times in the 4 hours we were there and ripped around 3 different shirts. Every time we would go fucking ape for him. It speaks volumes about the man that he’s still able to work a crowd the way he does.
I’ve Seen ____ Live!
Okay so this one is a bit of a cheat. It doesn’t apply to one single moment in a live show, but to several moments of complete marking out.
Here is a short list of the legends I have seen in ring.
Ric Flair, Mick Foley (twice), Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, William Regal, Hulk Hogan, Sting, The Undertaker, Michael Cole.
That is all.
And yes, Ric Flair did blade.
Edge was my all time favourite wrestler.
I was going to go to my first ever WWE event.
Which was also my first ever wrestling taping.
I was going to see my favourite wrestler ever do a spear, an Edgecution, cut a promo, wrestle.
And then a week before I’m due to go, Edge retires.
I’ve had a string of bad luck when it comes to wrestling events. Chris Sabin broke his leg so I didn’t get my MCMG vs Beer Money match, Alex Shelly got injured the following year, Sting injured himself at the TNA tapings so his match involving Kurt Angle was pulled, the one show I didn’t go to was in the early fire of Daniel Bryan’s YES! (this has since been redeemed) and the time I decide to not go to the Smackdown show, I miss my opportunity at seeing a Table break (never seen it, desperately want too).
But Edge retiring the week before just takes the piss.
After the show Edge cut a very emotional promo that left me in tears. The photo I took of him and Christian doing a 5 Second Pose is my favourite picture in the entire world. Although I never got to see him wrestle, just being able to see him has meant more to me as a wrestling fan than anything else. It was the most emotional event I’ve been too, and is one that I will never forget.
I still miss Edge today.
And that just about wraps it up for today, readers.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks edition of I GOT TILL 5! Please leave comments of your memories below and I look forward to reading them.
If theres anything you’d like me to talk about in next weeks column do feel free to say. Have a great weekend, a wonderful 4th of July and a good day to all of you.